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The main engines of perpetuating the system were the idea of primogeniture, entails and the strict settlement. Within the family itself, the strict settlement also represented an important patriarchal weapon against any other form of delinquency by heirs and heiresses.'38 Within this very limited space, the common law made some provision for married women, and, more

particularly, for widows. Common law dower provided that a widow should have one-third of the income of any real property of which her husband had been seised during his life. This provision had the potential to act as a fetter on the free alienability of land, and was eventually replaced by the jointure.